Lidded basket

Lidded basket
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
1922.1.2 .1 .2
[Upper Sudan]
Date Made:
By 1922
Plant Fibre , Palm Leaf Plant?
Basketry , Coiled
Lid L = 40.5, W = 39, Ht = 16, stoppered base ht = 10 mm; body rim = 52 by 51.6, body W = 62, Ht = 58 mm; total height with lid in place = 65 mm [RTS 5/11/2004].
Other Owners:
Ernest Balfour Haddon [see biographies file, RTS 5/11/2004].
Field Collector:
Ernest Balfour Haddon
PRM Source:
Ernest Balfour Haddon
Donated 1922
Collected Date:
By 1922
Small basket [.1] with lid [.2], both made using a coil technique. This involves making a bundle of flexible core material, probably fibre, which is then wound into a tight spiral, forming the flat base of the basket and then turning upwards to form the walls. Each loop of this coil is bound round with narrow strips of plant fibre (palm leaf?); these are sewn through the strips on adjacent coils to bind these firmly together. The basket body, 1922.1.2.1, has a circular mouth and slightly lopsided, conical body that widens down its height and then turns in just above the base, which is flat. It is predominantly yellow, reflecting the natural colour of the fibre strips (Pantone 7508C), with decoration covering the sides where a number of these strips have been died dark brown (Pantone black 7C). These contrast with plain strips to form a checkerboard design that runs in 5 vertical bands down the sides. The base and rim of the vessel are left plain yellow. The matching lid, 1922.1.2.2, is made using the same technique and from the same material. This has a flat top, with the coil spiralling out from its centre, then turning down at the edges where there are three coiled loops making the stoppered lid base. The interior underside is therefore hollow. This lid fits snugly within the mouth of the vessel. The basket is in mint condition, with the surface colour inside and out being particularly fresh. Both lid and basket body are complete and intact; there is a small pin hole in the side of the latter, where a sewing pin had been used to fix the object label to the front. It has a weight of 40.9 grams. The lid measures 40.5 by 39 mm across, and is 16 mm tall; the stoppered base has a height by itself of 10 mm. The body has a rim that measures 52 by 51.6 mm across, and a maximum width of 62 mm; this is 58 mm tall. Each coil that makes up the body has a diameter of 5.5 mm.

Presented to the Museum by Ernest Balfour Haddon in 1922; Haddon was probably also the collector, as he was Assistant District Commissioner in Gondokoro in the southern Sudan, then worked in Uganda. In 1922, the Museum received 4 items from him, 3 of which were attributed to the Lugbara and Madi of Uganda; this is the only item in this group that is said to come from the Sudan. Haddon is known to have written on the Bari of Sudan.

Currently on display in the Court, case 121A.

Rachael Sparks 30/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [VII, p. 25] 1922. [pencil insert] 1 [end insert] ERNEST HADDON , Esq 3 Cranmer Road, Cambridge. 1922.2 [pencil insert] 2 [end insert] - Small coiled basket with lid, made in the UPPER SUDAN.
Additional Accession Book Entry [VII, p. 25 top, in pencil] - blue numbers not valid & not on specimens. Inserted by an assistant in error.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribes catalogue card [RTS 28/1/2004].

Old Pitt Rivers Museum label - Small coiled basket with lid. UPPER SUDAN. Pres. by E. Haddon, 1922 [ink] 5 [pencil, reverse of tag] [rectangular metal-edged tag, kept loose inside basket; RTS 5/11/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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